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    A 21-year-old Durban woman is considering suing more than 100 Facebook users who made derogatory comments about a photograph of her that appeared on a page called "SA's finest girls".

    In the photo, she appears sucking a lollipop while wearing a revealing top.

    In the comments section, Claudia Naidoo was called a slut, a disgrace to South African Indian women and repeatedly told that she was asking to be raped.

    The creator of the page - which has about 3200 Facebook fans - called it a platform to "promote the outstanding beauty and sexiness of the women right here in South Africa".

    Naidoo's photo has received the most attention on the Facebook page - 400 comments and at least 200 likes.

    "I'm considering legal action because no one should be cyber-bullied, defamed or slandered on social media. Negative comments that are valid are acceptable, but victimisation and hate speech are not. The defamatory comments came mostly from Indian women, who went as far as insulting my parents and my boyfriend," Naidoo said yesterday.

    Naidoo said she was appalled by comments that linked her attire to rape.

    "They went on to say I should be raped and actually encouraged it. Many women dress provocatively. This does not mean they are asking to be raped. Every day children, babies and elderly women are raped. Did their clothes ask for it?"

    Naidoo said that while she did not post the photo, she would not remove it.

    "I see nothing wrong with my photograph," Naidoo said.

    Social media law consultant Emma Sadleir said Naidoo could sue the offending Facebook users for defamation, complain to the Human Rights Commission if she believed the comments were based on her race, and lay a crimen injuria charge with the police.

    She said the legal principles on defamation also applied online.

    "People think they are anonymous and that is a fallacy that we must dispel."

    Sadleir said there was a misconception among social media users that there was safety in numbers.

    "This is not true. In Britain, Lord McAlphine is suing 10000 Twitter users for linking him to sexual abuse," she said.
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